• Book Review

    These Deathless Bones

    Warnings: Animal Abuse, Animal Death, Child Death, Gore My Thoughts Straight to the point and packs a punch, These Deathless Bones is a strong short story that unravels the evil stepmother trope from fairytale fiction. The Witch Bride is a vengeful femme fatale, the second wife of a king, a fearsome witch that scares the common people. She finds herself at odds with her stepson, a petulant prince more capable of evil than the mythologized witch. Khaw is a talented wordsmith and her prose is tight and razor-sharp. The story and setting are gloriously grimdark, and the Witch Bride is an interesting character that I would love to read more…

  • Horror Book Review,  Science Fiction Book Review

    Skinner Box

    Warnings: Graphic Violence, Domestic Abuse, Sex, Rape, Sexual Assault My Thoughts Skinner Box is a clever little story that blends psychological horror and hard science fiction seamlessly. Evie is a neuropsychologist aboard a shuttle with her husband, an abusive and terrifying man, and a young male engineer who is infatuated with her. The three are trapped in tight quarters with each other as they carry out their work separately on board far from home. “If the reward is big enough, wanted or needed enough, a rat will endure pain past the point of recovery. Of sense. And that’s obvious why too. All life, after all, is just pushing levers and…

  • Gothic Book Review,  Urban Fantasy Book Review

    Hearts in the Hard Ground

    Warnings: Sex, Graphic Descriptions of Death, Drug Use My Thoughts I love gothic horror—the haunted houses, the ghosts, the romance in a macabre setting. An old house is not complete without a proper haunting, and there are plenty of ghosts to keep the lonely narrator company. Fiona is grieving the loss of her mother and struggling with the guilt of not doing enough for her mother as her health deteriorates. “Did she grow as pitiful, as frightened, as this bird when I locked her bedroom door to stop her wandering out at night? If she fretted, if she tried the door or the window or ever cried out in wordless…

  • Science Fiction Book Review

    Waiting on a Bright Moon

    Warnings: Sex, Violence My Thoughts It is always amazing to me the amount of world-building that can occur in such a short story, and I was captivated by the world within Waiting on a Bright Moon in which humanity has been spread across space living in colonies. Humanity remains connected through the mysterious powers of the ansibles, a small enclave of special women whose “closeness” allows them to open portals through space through the power of song. Despite their incredible powers, they are looked down on as expendable parts and are cast out due to their proclivity toward other women. The starmages are equally incredible, and I was in awe…

  • Horror Book Review,  YA Fantasy Book Review

    The Witch of Duva

    Warnings: Violence, Implied Sexual Abuse My Thoughts I had been meaning to get around to reading something by Leigh Bardugo due to her popularity in the YA community. Though I had already picked up the original Grishaverse trilogy, I found this companion story on the Tor website and decided to give it a try. I am so happy that I stumbled across this short because I was honestly blown away. “There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.” The Witch of Duva is a dark fantasy about a harsh winter and the mysterious disappearances of young girls in a small village. The tone of the story is…

  • Book Review

    A Human Stain

    Warnings: Gore My Thoughts What a wild ride this story was, I read it in a single sitting before bed and I couldn’t put it down. The opening of A Human Stain reminds me of The Turn of the Screw; a young woman is enlisted by a wealthy gentleman to care for his recently orphaned nephew. The young woman goes to a remote castle and finds something strange is going on. It is a beautifully written gothic mystery with a healthy dose of body horror. I loved the main character, a brash lesbian with an eye for the beautiful and quiet nursemaid. Everything about the castle and the people that…